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Two Rockland Natives Rethink The Kitchen Sponge

Alison Matz, left, who grew up in Spring Valley, and Linda Sawyer, right, a Pomona native. The two women, who now live in Westchester, are the founders of Skura Style. Photo Credit: Submitted
Two Rockland natives are behind a new line of Skura Style kitchen sponges. Photo Credit: Skura Style
New sponges by Skura Style. Photo Credit: Skura Style

Two Westchester women -- best friends since second grade -- have launched a new lifestyle company designed around the kitchen sink.

Skura Style, which officially launched Monday, Oct. 9, basically started with one clean freak and two marketing minds. 

Linda Sawyer, who grew up in Pomona, admits one of her happy places has always been at the kitchen sink cleaning and scrubbing. The former CEO and Chairman of Deutsch Inc., said she's always had a particular passion for home and design – and then on top of that, a personal obsession with cleaning.

A number of years ago she started thinking about how every inch of the kitchen -- from paper towel holders to trashcans -- has undergone a redesign and upgrade -- except for the sponge. 

When she confided this to Alison Matz,  her childhood best friend and a marketing maven in her own right -- the former Spring Valley resident served as the publisher of More Magazine, Bride's, and Martha Stewart Living --  she suddenly had a partner in crime.

The two started spending their weekends brainstorming on how to make the next generation sponge.

It became their passion project -- what they called "Skura Sundays" -- and then, after finding a manufacturer and figuring out a subscription model, their full-time jobs. This, after several years of research and development.

What makes their sponge different, they say, is that it was created to not just look better, but to also to perform better. It's made of a patented foam material with a premium, non-abrasive scouring coating and treated with an antimicrobial agent to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Add to that Swedish sensibility. The sponges -- though made in America -- are created from a design inspired by renowned Swedish designer John-Michael Ekeblad. The wordage for their company hails from the word “skura," Swedish for “to scour” or “to scrub."

They are sold as a four-pack in orange, blue, grey and green in a re-sealable bag with a monogram logo on the coating. 

And, because replacing sponges regularly is part of what Skura Style considers to be good sponge etiquette, the brand is pioneering a new way to make replacement and repurchase easy with the first-ever online subscription service for sponges.

The Love to Scrub subscription plan provides one four-pack every other month for sponge replacement every two weeks. The two moms (they each have two kids each) have made it easy for consumers to know when to replace their sponge by creating a logo that naturally fades as the sponge nears its shelf life.

Just like Casper reinvented the mattress and the Dollar Shave Club reinvented personal grooming products, so too do the women, hope to disrupt the household world.

While sponges are their first launch, they are already thinking about future products including rubber gloves, dishtowels, and sponge holders. After all, said Matz, why shouldn’t everything around the sponge be elevated? 

"We are challenging convention on every aspect," she said.

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